About the Program

Nestled in the heart of Boston’s theatre district, the BFA in Musical Theatre Program (BFA MT) at Emerson College is one of the most unique pre-professional performance programs in the country. With over forty percent of degree requirements housed in liberal arts, and a distinguished faculty holding Broadway, regional, opera, television/film and composition credits, the BFA MT is a dynamic cross between scholarship and rigorous studio work.

Additionally, the program mission nurtures important foundations in the student such as teamwork, preparation, managing the business, and seeking conclusions about the nature of the creative process. Through the supplementary study of liberal arts, the program exposes the student to what we endorse as a more holistic approach to the craft. Emerson College student-to-teacher ratio is 14:1; by the time an MT student arrives at their 3rd and 4th year advanced studio classes, that ratio can drop to as low as 8:1.

In addition to regular study in singing, music analysis and dance, we support a vigorous sequential curriculum in acting and scene study. For us, the stereotype of the superficial musical theatre performer is no longer a viable approach for entering the profession. Our goal is to offer more: educating musical theatre students who can both embrace and transcend the commercial basis of the form, creating reality on a level with the best non-musical theatre.

Performance opportunities are available primarily through Emerson Stage, the producing organization of the Performing Arts Department, and serve as the laboratory for the studio work. Productions are offered in Emerson’s five performance spaces including the newly renovated Paramount Center and the magnificent 1,200-seat Cutler Majestic Theatre. The program also features two showcases for graduating seniors: The first is the annual spring showcase in Boston; the second is a one-of-a-kind autumn showcase in New York for those who graduated the previous May. Both showcases invite industry representatives and noted Emerson alumni to attend.

Professional Placement and Alumni

For current students, aggressive professional placement serves as an important supplement to the training. During the school year, students audition at several national unified auditions, as well as in New York and New England to glean summer positions at  theatres such as (for 2018): Berkshire Theatre Group (MA), Rocky Mountain Rep (CO), Weathervane Theatre (NH), Hershey Park (PA), Priscilla Beach Theatre (MA), Cedar Point Theatre (OH), Hackmatack Theatre (ME), Fulton Theatre (PA), North Carolina Theatre, Bright Star Touring (GA), RWS (PA), New London Barn (NH), Missoula Children’s Theatre (MT), Jean’s Playhouse (NH) and Woodminster Summer Musicals (CA). Recent alumni have worked and are working on Broadway (including Frozen, Carousel, Amelie, Kinky Boots, Dr. Zhivago, Honeymoon In Vegas, Les Miserables, The King and I, Godspell, Warhorse), Off-Broadway (including the Atlantic Theatre and Lion Theatre) and in national tours (including Elf, The King and I, Les Miserables, 42nd Street, and Sound of Music). Regionally, alumni are working at theatres such as Goodspeed (CT), Barrington Stage (MA), Geva (NY), Berkshire Theatre Group, Ogunquit (ME), North Shore Music (MA), and Busch Gardens (VA). Cruise lines currently employing alumni include Disney, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Oceana, Holland America and Aria. Alumni from the past nine years have also worked at several Shakespeare festivals including those in Alabama, Washington D.C., New Jersey, Orlando and Camden (PA). Other recent alumni have gone on to success through graduate programs outside of theatre such as Villanova and George Washington law schools, NYU Silver School of Social Work and the renowned Clark University School of Clinical Psychology in California. Two recent alumni are also working on Capitol Hill, for representatives Nancy Pelosi (CA) and Lee Zeldin (NY).

Read the BFA MT Handbook for more details about the program.

The BFA MT curriculum requires students to begin their Emerson career with foundational and core classes. Starting in the sophomore year, the curriculum becomes more musical theatre-specific and the work becomes highly advanced in the junior and senior years.

Program Requirements

Requirements Credits
BFA Musical Theatre (detailed below) 72
Electives 0
Liberal Arts Requirements 56
Total Credits 128

To see descriptions of any of the below classes, please visit our course catalog.

Department of Performing Arts Core

Year Number Course Credits
1st PA101 Languages of the Stage 4
2nd TH141-8 Stagecraft Laboratories 4
1st TH149 Emerson Stage Production Crew 0
2nd TH215 World Drama in its Context I 4
2nd TH216 World Drama in its Context II 4

BFA Musical Theatre Core

Year Number Course Credits
1st TH123 Movement and Voice I 4
1st TH124 Movement and Voice II 4
1st TH127 Musical Theatre Core I 2
1st TH128 Musical Theatre Core II 2
2nd TH227 Musical Theatre Core III - Scene Study 6
2nd TH228 Musical Theatre Core IV - Fundamentals of Technique 0
2nd MU253 Applied Music: Voice Lessons 4

Two 0-credit non-tuition semesters at $1100 per semester in the first year.
Musical Theatre Core courses III-IV include private Voice Lessons

BFA Musical Theatre Dance

Year Number Course Credits
2nd-3rd DA233 Ballet Technique 2
2nd-3rd DA235 Tap Dance 2
2nd-3rd DA237 Jazz Technique 2
2nd-3rd DA331 Topics in Dance 2
2nd-4th DA338 Musical Theatre Dance Repertoire I 2
2nd-4th DA339 Musical Theatre Dance Repertoire II 2
2nd-4th DA438 Musical Theatre Dance Repertoire III 2
2nd-4th DA439 Musical Theatre Dance Repertoire IV  

BFA Musical Theatre Advanced

Year Number Course Credits
3rd TH327 Musical Theatre Core V - Technique I 4
3rd TH328 Musical Theatre Core VI - Technique II 4
4th TH427 Musical Theatre Core VII - Contemporary Styles 4
4th TH428 Musical Theatre Core VIII - Professional Orientation 4
4th TH450 Topics in Musical Theatre Performance 2
4th TH451 Advanced Song Interpretation 2